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Old Mar 21, 13, 12:59 am   #1
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Should I still buy Vanilla Reload card to load Bluebird?

Since OD stopped selling the $500 gift cards, I have been debating if I should continue buying the Vanilla Reload card to load my Blue Bird card for mortgage payments, etc. I value the UR points a lot as we fly international almost yearly. But I am not sure if buying the $500 Vanilla Reload card with a $3.95 fee using the Ink Bold card is still a good idea. I know I can still come out ahead because the 504 UR points equal to $5. But... Any suggestions?
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Old Mar 21, 13, 2:22 am   #2
 
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It's up to you ... you equate 504 UR to $5, and you're paying $3.95 for that. Are you okay with coming out $1.05 ahead per VR? Take into account drive time and gas.

It's funny, the Ink cards went from being the best UR card for VR (5x via OD) to now the worst ... at least with Freedom you get a 10% bonus and with Sapphire Preferred a 7% bonus.
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Old Mar 21, 13, 2:26 am   #3
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Good for min spends. Not very good for ongoing spend when time, gas, etc is considered.
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Old Mar 21, 13, 7:52 am   #4
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Thread transferred to the Manufactured Spending forum which is the primary discussion venue for Vanilla Reload and Bluebird cards.
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Old Mar 21, 13, 9:19 am   #5
 
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The value of 504 is much more than $5 in my case as I usually transfer UR points to United for international travel. $5 is just the minimum amount I can get if I redeem it for cash. My dilemma is whether I should continue this path to pay for the points at the rate of 0.78 cents per point/mile (3.95/504 = 0.0078) which is not too bad, or should I look for other ways to earn free points instead.
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Old Mar 21, 13, 9:34 am   #6
 
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To me .8 cents a mile is really a great deal for international travel on United. You can get to asia 60K one way in business class. I will value that ticket at $1800 (that is what I will pay if I travel to asia on business) which gives you a return of 3c a mile. Usually these tixs go to 3K one way.

So as other FT'ers have mentioned before, it's up to the individual. I also feel that the VR opportunity will close soon, so I milk it for as much as I can (to the tune of about 10-15K a month).
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Old Mar 21, 13, 9:36 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amolkold View Post
at least with Freedom you get a 10% bonus
How do you get a 10% bonus with Freedom? Are you talking about the checking account bonus? (I have Freedom but can't get checking since there are no branches in my area.)
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Old Mar 21, 13, 9:42 am   #8
 
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I'm still doing 5x at OD via the $200 Visa cards. $6.95 for 1k URs is still better than the VR route at CVS (which is impossible to find in my area these days). In the end, $834 for 120k UR is still worth it for me. It's just a pain to unload.
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Old Mar 21, 13, 10:38 am   #9
 
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man i came into the game little late..as i got my ink card the 500 dollar GC is over...any other ways to redeem , is BB easy to load and use for motgage and such? i have few bills that i stil used ACH to pay so is there a way to load and pay them to capitalize on points...is it worth the time and effort?
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Old Mar 21, 13, 10:44 am   #10
 
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Cost per Point

Chase Freedom – If you haven’t maxed out Chase Freedom for this quarter, 5X at drugstores, do this option first. $3.95(Vanilla Reload fee)/2,520(@5X) = 0.16 cents per point.
American Express SPG Business Card – $3.95/504(@1X) = 0.78 cents per SPG point.
Chase Ink – No Category Bonuses = $3.95/504(@1X) = 0.78 cents per UR point.
Chase Sapphire Preferred- No category bonuses, but 7% dividend each year = $3.95/539(@1.07X) = 0.73 cents per UR point.
Credit Card needed minimum spend requirement.
Barclay’s Arrival World MasterCard = $503.95*2.2% travel cash back – $3.95 = $7.14 profit.
Hilton AMEX Credit Card – $3.95/3,024 = 0.13 cents per Hilton HHonors point.

I made this quick summary yesterday. I would use SPG card for Vanilla Reload or Barclays Arrival World Mastercard for 2.2% cashback.
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Old Mar 21, 13, 11:10 am   #11
 
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romsdeals3, thanks for the analysis.

I don't have a Barclay card. But I have Ink Bold, Sapphire Preferred, Freedom (maximized the 5X this quarter already), United Explorer, Chase Hyatt Visa, SPG, Business Amex Open Business Gold. Among Hyatt Visa, SPG, or Business Amex Open Business Gold, I wonder which one is better to use for the VR card.
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Old Mar 21, 13, 11:49 am   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sndenm View Post
The value of 504 is much more than $5 in my case as I usually transfer UR points to United for international travel. $5 is just the minimum amount I can get if I redeem it for cash. My dilemma is whether I should continue this path to pay for the points at the rate of 0.78 cents per point/mile (3.95/504 = 0.0078) which is not too bad, or should I look for other ways to earn free points instead.
Why 0.0078 ? You can cut that in half if you get your beans from the Gas station.. I find that easier and cheaper.
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Old Mar 21, 13, 11:51 am   #13
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Don't forget that there are still certain cards that can get you 5x or more at CVS... AMEX Hilton (until May), Club Carlson Premier, etc. It all depends what you want to get out of your points and what you the individual value them at.
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Old Mar 21, 13, 11:53 am   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dad to GO View Post
Don't forget that there are still certain cards that can get you 5x or more at CVS... AMEX Hilton (until May), Club Carlson Premier, etc. It all depends what you want to get out of your points and what you the individual value them at.

add noThank You preferred 5X for 12 months to that list
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Old Mar 21, 13, 12:21 pm   #15
 
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thanks for the list
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